Croydon BME Forum hosted The Worshipful Mayor, The Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Patricia Hay-Justice; at a Reception aimed at recognising, celebrating and marking their Mayoral year.
Croydon’s Black and Minority Ethnic communities gathered on 23rd September 2014, under the umbrella of Croydon BME Forum to celebrate them as they are both from Croydon’s BME communities.
Welcoming guests from Croydon’s BME voluntary sector and communities, the Chair of Croydon BME Forum, Mr Patrick Reid, said that it was important to recognise them and that “this is a special year when we have both Mayor and Deputy coming from the BME Communities for the first time”.
The Mayor and Deputy had the opportunity to meet a broad range of BME organisation and to witness some of the voluntary sector activities taking place at the Forum’s premises. The Mayor met older adults learning to use the internet in self-managing their health – the programme is delivered by Easy PC with the support of the Forum’s Community Development Workers.
In his address, the Chief Executive of Croydon BME Forum, Mr Nero Ughwujabo said that the community “…is proud to celebrate the Mayor and Deputy and to Mark their Mayoral Year and that their status as first and second citizens of Croydon was an inspiration to BME people and BME young people in particular”; he also remarked that “it is important, given that over 47% of Croydon’s population are BME, that they play a full role in the public life of the borough, including political participation”.
The Worshipful, the Mayor, Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed thanked Croydon BME Forum for organising the reception. She spoke of her journey to becoming Mayor and her historical role as a volunteer for several voluntary organisations in Croydon. The Mayor’s theme for the year is ‘Celebration of the rich diversity and culture of Croydon’.
The Deputy Mayor, Patricia Hay-Justice also congratulated the Forum and spoke of the progress ethnic minority communities have made but that much more needs to be done. She promised to work with and support Croydon BME Forum to address some of the long-standing inequalities.
The event was a great success and the Mayor and Deputy spent considerable time talking with the organisations in attendance.
Croydon BME Forum appreciates the time that the distinguished guests gave up from their busy schedules to attend this most memorable occasion.